Monday, August 27, 2007

"Quilting" Weekends

This year our "quilting weekend" at Pam B.'s was more of a "shopping, eating and lounging by the pool" weekend. It was HOT, so we spent a great deal of our time IN the pool. It would be less than accurate to call this a sewing or quilting gathering, but I think someone managed to finish a binding. Personally, I think I added about 25 more stitches to my "Summer Woods" piece.

We were a much smaller group this year, but that just made it easier to go places all together. We visited some discount fabric stores, a mall or two and a fun restaurant for dinner and drinks. All in all, it was a very fun and relaxing girl's weekend.

To keep this firmly in the quilting realm, here are a couple of quilts from the girls.

All of that was last weekend, THIS weekend I took Friday off and went to the San Diego Quilt Show with a couple of friends. It is a non juried show, so in many ways it is something like a guild show. This year I thought the entries were a bit better with more variety than last year, and they did a great job hanging the exhibit. The highlight was talking with guest artist Mary Lou Weidman and seeing her wonderful quilts up close and "in person". We had fun browsing the vendors, but I didn't get pictures.

Saturday was fun since I spent the day painting fabric and working on another small quilt. I can't share these little artistic efforts just yet, but I am happy with some of them. Sunday we went to the lake and walked six miles (one more than usual, so I joked about "going the extra mile"). In the afternoon and evening I relaxed and read "The Thirteenth Tale", start to finish.

Time to get back to work now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quilting Retreat Coming Up

This is a cover for a pool side chair at my friend Pam's house. It really IS as relaxing as a day spa to visit for the weekend. Last year I posted about our wonderful quilting weekend at Pam's house, and this weekend we are set to do it again. She is really going the extra mile for us to hostess this retreat since she has been pretty busy preparing for her daughter's wedding next month.

Just to give you a nice visual, here is a lovely sampler quilt done by our hostess and shared with us last year. I don't have anything of my own to show since I have been working more or less exclusively on 17" x 22" pieces for the Journal Quilt 2007 submission. Right now I'm feeling like everything I touch is overworked. Too much free motion embroidery, too much special fiber, just too much all the way around. The deadline is fast approaching, so I have to figure out if I should just stop and be done with it or start all over again.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Here is some of our "garden bounty" (well, the fruit is from the citrus trees, but you get the idea. ) My garden is nothing like Fran's lovley oasis, but we are certainly enjoying the tomatoes. The other night I made a spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes that was to die for. Nothing tastes like fresh.

Here is a little preview of the newly white cupboards in my farmhouse kitchen. I used the old hardware, spray painted black. The space is transformed already.

These shelves will remain open, OR I may have custom glass front doors made to go here. Either way you will be able to see the dishes on these shelves, so I have painted the backgrounds a nice barn red.

Here is the bargain fabric I found, a nice red and white decorator width cotton ticking to make curtains. One set for the windows and one for a space under the counter.

Finally, here is another future decoration for the refurbished kitchen. A whimsical vintage style sign. It is not really such an idle boast, for we are coffee snobs of the first order.

I have no idea how long it will be until I can show you a completed "after" picture because this project is taking forever. I am happy with the results so far, though.

I never told you about my trip to the Quilt Visions museum. It was a fabulous exhibit, quilts from the "Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection". Well-known artists like Ruth McDowell, Frieda Anderson, Carol Taylor, and many others.

I was delighted to see the quilts "in person" and I'm even happier that there is a wonderful art quilt exhibit space locally. I'm afraid, however, that I disappointed the nice lady who called me to get volunteers to work the museum desk. With a full time job, I'm just not willing to give up weekend afternoons, even for a good cause. Some things will just have to wait until retirement.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Current Projects

Here is where most of my time and energy has gone in the last week. Notice how dark my kitchen looks, even with the skylight. After receiving an astonishing estimate of $23,000 for cabinet refacing (yes, I said refacing not replacing), I set off for Home Depot and came home with lots of creamy white paint. This is a JOB. Clean, sand, primer, paint, repeat. The white paint also highlights the many imperfections in the wood, so I have been puttying holes, resanding, etc. The style will still be rustic when I am finished, but at least it should be brighter! Come back in a few weeks (months?) for "after" pictures.

I have hardly been in my studio at all, but this ocean theme quilt for my son is what is on the design wall. I also need to get going on the baby quilt for Emily. I have also been experimenting with paint and stitch for my 2007 journal quilt, but can't share any images online. Back to work for me today, so I'd better get going.